The NYC Summer (Sand) Bucket List

As I write this, sitting at the airport about to board a flight to Nantucket for one of many getaways this summer, I semi-ironically decided to write a post about the city I tend to leave so often these hot few months. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I love New York with all my heart. I was born in Manhattan, raised in Manhattan, left to Connecticut for College, and then to Portland for AmeriCorps, and then I returned to the city that birthed me. I return, again and again, because wherever I go, I am a New Yorker through and through. I’ve been a New Yorker in Oregon, in California, in Cuba, in Florida, and all over the globe really. And while staying in NYC 24/7 is definitely unsustainable for me (hence the frequent getaways), there is so much the city that never sleeps has to offer…especially in the summer!

Here are my recommendations for what to do during a summer in NYC (all tried and true, I promise!).

Shakespeare in the Park


I miss the days of camping out in Central Park, getting kicked out when the park would close, and then ushered (pun intended) back into the outskirts of the Great Lawn. Shakespeare in the Park is one of my absolute favorite initiatives in NYC. Put on by the Public Theater and held at the Delacorte Theater smack dab in the middle of Central Park, the whole experience from waiting in line for hours for those FREE tickets to seeing the show itself is so, so special and worth it. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is headed into its third week!

Outdoor Yoga

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There are quite a few options for this one and I’ll list all of them below. All have rotating teachers. Click the links to find out more. Oh, and all except the Laughing Lotus one are fo free!



Smorgasburg is this former Portlander’s dream. Series of the most gourmet and hipster food trucks line up in both Prospect Park and Williamsburg. There are plenty of picnic tables and small bites to enable trying out a wide variety of yummy-ness.

Wanderlust 108

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I ran the 5K and did the meditation + yoga in this mindful triathlon almost two years ago and it was such a highlight! Find out more by reading a former post here. It’s coming up in the beginning of September.

The Rockaways


photo via

My mantra for beaching it up in the Rockaways is as follows: TAKE THE A TRAIN! Last summer, I seem to have forgotten that I am in fact a New Yorker and let the boyf drive and finding parking was one of the most miserable beach experiences of our lives. If you go, suck it up and take the A to the depths of Queens. Get off. Walk a few blocks to the boardwalk. Grab arepas and taro fries (a must!) at Caracas. Then, find a spot on the crowded beach and soak up the sensory overload…and the sun.



photo by rosy

me under a structural “confessional” the architecture class at my school built w/ a friend who swears that i was confessing to that romper being my most prized possession…

I have a confession: when I was younger (and I am only 22 so I am one of the lucky ones), I dealt with my stress in unhealthy ways (if you would like more details as to what that means as well as some other solutions I have found on the way, please feel free to message me privately). So, for me, a large part of growing up on OM has been the seeking and practicing of HEALTHY ways to deal with stress. This pursuit of health in the midst of a bustling, busy, abundant and REAL life is not always easy. I am forced to confront my dear enemy indecision on the daily to determine what exactly is self-love in any given circumstance. And let me tell you: not only is there no one right answer, but the same situation might call for a different answer depending on what the day has in store for us. It is all very confusing, no?

Well, I would now like to make you even more confused, though perhaps more hopeful too, more rejuvenated, more committed to health for the masses and not just people who work full time in this fairyland (cooky theme park) of an industry.

I present to you…


photo by renee g

  • practice yoga
  • go for a run
  • go on a bike ride
  • call up a friend who only talks about “frivolous” things
  • call up a friend who has no idea what made you stressed in the first place
  • have sex
  • give yourself some love if ya know what i mean
  • make out with someone
  • go out dancing
  • dance naked in your room with the headphones blasting Spice Girls into your ears (your own personal silent rave)
  • teach someone something new and that they want to learn
  • call someone and ask them how you’re doing
  • abstain from talking about yourself
  • or, vent to someone who doesn’t mind hearing it
  • get some froyo with a friend
  • go to the movies
  • read a novel
  • write in your journal
  • scream into a pillow
  • cry
  • re-watch the notebook
  • find something that makes you laugh uncontrollably. And laugh uncontrollably.
  • go to happy hour someplace new with good friends
  • catch up with an old friend
  • meditate
  • write a gratitude list
  • do some twists
  • plan a trip (plan to escape the stress, but you have to go through it first)
  • write poetry
  • make lists
  • make a “not to do” list
  • drink extra water
  • make a cup of bengal spice tea
  • listen to a podcast
  • sing in the shower
  • chant/repeat a mantra
  • start your day over

This list is by no means exhaustive so…What do you have to add? Answer in comments!